How many glaciers are in Africa?

Africa has glaciers in 3 locations: the Rwenzori Mountains, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Mount Kenya. The total surface area of Africa’s glaciers is around 10km².

Tragically, the future of Africa’s glaciers is uncertain due to global warming. In 1906, 43 glaciers were scattered across 6 peaks within the Rwenzori Mountains.

These glaciers covered an area of around 7.5km², around half of the total surface area of Africa’s glaciers at the time.

By 2005, three of these glaciers had disappeared, and the Rwenzori’s glaciers only covered an area of 1.5km².

Glaciers in Africa

Explore the Rwenzori Mountains

What countries in Africa have glaciers?

4 African countries have glaciers. The Rwenzori Mountains are located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mount Stanley’s peak, Margherita Peak, reaches a height of 5,109m.

Mount Kenya is located in the centre of Kenya. With an elevation of 5,199m, it is the second tallest mountain in Africa.

Mount Kilimanjaro is situated in northern Tanzania and its height of 5,855m makes it the the tallest mountain in Africa.

Glaciers in Africa

What is the largest glacier in Africa?

The largest glaciers in Africa are situated on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. Credner Glacier and Furtwängler Glacier are among the largest.

Credner Glacier is rapidly retreating due to its high exposure to sunlight on the north-western slope of Mount Kilimanjaro.

If Credner Glacier continues to retreat at the same rate, it may vanish by 2030.

Glaciers in Africa

Glaciers in the Rwenzori Mountains

In 2020, Klaus Thymann’s expedition confirmed that Mount Baker and Mount Speke no longer have glaciers. Thymann used comparative images to prove that 2 of Africa’s 5 glaciated peaks have been lost.

Tragically, the present moment is your last chance to see Africa’s glaciers before they vanish forever. Mount Stanley’s glacier is the only remaining glacier in the Rwenzoris, and studies suggest that it may vanish by 2025.

Richard Taylor of University College London has warned of the catastrophic impacts of glacial melting on the surrounding ecosystems in East Africa.

In 2012, rising temperatures caused a major fire in the Rwenzoris. The loss of vegetation reduced infiltration, and this led to local flooding in 2013 and 2014.

Glaciers in Africa

How to see Mount Stanley’s glacier?

Trekking to Mount Stanley’s glacier is physically demanding, but thoroughly rewarding.

During your climb to Margherita Peak, you will come face to face with one of Africa’s remaining glaciers.

If you book with us, we will take care of your accommodation, climbing equipment, and provide you with experienced mountain guides and porters. Allowing us to handle the logistics will allow you to focus on the trek itself.

The Ultimate Rwenzori Trek is a 12-day alpine adventure which takes you to the four main peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains: Margherita Peak (5109m), Mt Speke (4890m), Mt Baker (4844m) and Weismann’s Peak (4620m).

Glaciers in Africa

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